I have spent hours searchig online for a good onion ring recipe…My goal? Finding the crispiest, crunchiest, tastiest onion ring recipe. I wanted a fairly breadlike outer layer (because who wants to see the onion before you bite into it? I love onions, but if I wanted to eat a plain onion, I would), and have had good results using beer before. But I also wanted crunch-and I can’t get panko in my corner of the world. So, I saw a recipe that called for chips.
I ended up creating my own recipe using beer batter, baked chips and adjusting the amounts in the basic ingredients and seasoning until the batter looked and tasted right to me.
When I told my French host mother that I was going to make onion rings, she thought I meant carmelized onions. Here they’re called onion beignets…although I’m not sure she had ever tried anything quite like them to be honest.
I had never tried anything like them. And I have had my fair share of onion rings since making them for my husband (who had only ever had the frozen version before I made them for him) for the first time.
On to recipe relevant information…
In fact, I looked up both fried and oven baked versions. Had I not been cooking to please, I might have actually just copied an oven recipe right off the bat, but they all looked a little too crispy and I suppose I didn’t want to stray too far from familiarity-I do like have a bit of puffed up bread to hide the onion.
Panko seems all the rage in the US for fried foods. Not an option here in France. I saw one recipe boasting chips for an oven baked version…I wasn’t going to deep fry Kettle chips (or rather, re-fry), so I opted for Baked Lays, a recent import, and went to town on them, using a rolling pin and a ziploc bag to smoosh them into what I hoped would be panko-like flaky crumbs-which is apparently the biggest processing difference between regular breadcrumbs and their Japanese counterpart.
And I fried those suckers. I was very happy. The onion was completely covered, the little specks of chip meant that even the very bottom rings were still crunchy. We accompanied them with a parmesan garlic yogurt sauce and Gerwurtztraminer, a sweet wine from Alsace that complemented the onions.
CRISPY CRUNCH FRIED BEER-BATTERED ONION RINGS
Please note that you will need three bowls. When you are finished you can line them up near the fryer.
Bowl 1: First ‘Coat’
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. salt
Bowl 2: Second ‘Coat’, aka The Batter
- 3/4 c. flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup beer
- 2 tsp. salt
Bowl 3: The Third ‘Coat’-Crispy Crunchy Exterior
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 150 g crushed chips (Baked Lays)
- 1 tsp. Italian spice
- 1 tsp. cayenne
2 onions if you just want to use those three bowls. You would have enough to do 3-4 onions, but if you do that divide bowl 3 in half and change halfway through because otherwise you’ll wind up with a soggy mess.
Mix each bowl with their respective ingredients.
Heat fryer or a large pot with oil.
Fry each ring until golden brown and delicious. Of course, I’ll let you be the king of your kitchen and decide if you need to lower, raise temp. to do a fry-tastic job:)
PARMESAN YOGURT DIP
Ketchup is all well and good, but I’m always looking for ways to show foreigners that Americans aren’t that kind of cliché (even if sometimes I am). Use yogurt, use creme fraiche, use sour cream…this will be an easy way to bring your onion rings to the next level.
- 1 plain yogurt (approx. …g/ oz.)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 100 g/3.5 oz. parmesan
- salt to taste